Title: Building bridges: African customary family law and children's rights

Authors: Trynie Boezaart

Addresses: Private Law, University of Pretoria, Private bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa

Abstract: This paper will focus on the rights of the family, parental responsibilities and rights and children's rights in the context of African customary law. South Africa has gone a long way in safeguarding various rights of children in the Constitution and the principle of the paramountcy of the best interests of the child is firmly established. The main objective of this paper is to consider the impact of customary family law and practices on children's rights, and vice versa. This paper will furthermore embark on developing guidelines to balance fundamental rights while protecting the rights of children in Africa.

Keywords: family law; African customary law; common law; South Africa; children's right; child rights; best interests standard; parental responsibilities; parental rights; parental consent; child marriages; ukuthwala; cultural practices; child participation; customary adoption; cultural rights; culture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPL.2013.056811

International Journal of Private Law, 2013 Vol.6 No.4, pp.395 - 417

Published online: 19 Aug 2013 *

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